Monday, May 09, 2011

Osama bin Laden likely aided by "rogue" elements in Pakistan

A senior official in Pakistan's civilian government told ABC News, "Elements of Pakistan intelligence -- probably rogue or retired -- were involved in aiding, abetting and sheltering the leader of al Qaeda," the strongest public statement yet from the Pakistani government after the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.

This is based on the government's judgment that the number of years bin Laden spent in Abbottabad -- and it now appears in a village outside the city of Haripur -- would have been impossible without help, possibly from someone in the middle tier of ISI, Pakistan's intelligence agency, who grew up fighting alongside the mujahidin against the Soviets, said the official. 

Hard to believe.

Actually, it could be that this "official" is just trying to deflect attention away from the government itself, as well as current ISI officials, and towards "rogue" elements. It's pretty hard to believe that Osama wasn't helped at all by current government officials, that he managed to evade capture/death for so many years simply because rogue/retired officials sheltered him. Seriously, how credible is that?

It seems far more likely that active rogue elements in the ISI, operating with the tacit approval of extremely senior government officials (how senior may be open to question), were instrumental in keeping him alive and connected to his terrorist network. The government may claim ignorance, but it knew the ISI was full of al Qaeda supporters/sympathizers and surely there were senior officials who knew what was going on.

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  • The Pakistan army seems to be keeping a very low profile in the blame game. As Bin Laden was living in a garrison town with a great number of military brass, both resident and visiting, it is hard to believe that his presence was not known to the army. On that basis, it is more than plausible that he was a 'guest' of the military accommodated in Abbotobad where he could be under close surveillance and held as a bargaining pawn for the time when the need arose. That time might be for example if the US government started to ask what it was paying for or, worse, playing footsy with India.

    By Blogger Richard T, at 8:32 AM  

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